Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - August - 2014 Issue

Travel and Exploration from the George S. MacManus Company

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Travel and Exploration Part I.

The George S. MacManus Company has released Catalogue 412 Travel & Exploration Part I. This one takes us to the letter “I” in the alphabet, so we guess there will be two more parts to come. Most of these are travels within the North American continent, though some are sea voyages, and some go to other parts of the world – China, India, and other areas of Asia, Australia, Central and South America, various islands of the Pacific and Caribbean. These journeys mostly range from the 17th-19th century. What is surprising is how many accounts there are of internal American explorations, or just trips by curious visitors willing to take on inland travel at a time when this was difficult if not dangerous. I will admit that many of these travels are ones with which I was not familiar, making this catalogue a trove of books for those who collect accounts of such journeys. There is much, often little known, to be found. Of course, other explorations described are among the most famous of all, such as Cook and Lewis and Clark. Here are a few samples.

 

We start with a book that will not be at all unfamiliar to those who collect American travels. Item 78 is a first edition of Jonathan Carver's Travels through the Interior Parts of North America, published in 1778. Carver traveled farther west than any English explorer prior to the American Revolution. He visited the Great Lakes region, the headwaters of the Mississippi, and went as far west as today's Dakotas. His text was the first to mention “Oregon.” While not quite reaching his goal of the Pacific, he did bring back tales of a great mountain range about which he learned from the Indians. That would be the then unknown Rocky Mountains. Item 78. $5,000.

 

Here is a look at the American Southwest during the earliest days it was the American Southwest. Item 27 is Personal narrative of explorations and incidents in Texas, New Mexico, California, Sonora, and Chihuahua, connected with the United States and Mexican boundary commission, during the years 1850, '51, '52, and '53. It was prepared by John R. Bartlett and published in 1854. America had just seized its southwestern territory, but the border was left unclear at the end of the Mexican War, requiring surveyors from both countries to plat the precise (or semi-precise) line. The Americans started in California, and moved with reasonable speed, but as they crossed into today's Arizona, determining the border became more difficult. Hence, the task took so many years to complete. Ironically, shortly after the work was completed, most of it became pointless. With the Gadsden Purchase, the difficult part of the work, the Arizona and New Mexico borders, were shifted south, the purpose being to build a Pacific Railroad in a location favorable to southern interests. $3,000.

 

There is probably nothing, other than maybe the Fountain of Youth, that has been so sought after as the Northwest Passage. In the days before the Panama Canal, there was no shorter way to travel from Europe to China and East Asia then to go all the way around the southern tip of South America. However, if there were a way to sail on the north side of Canada, the distance would be immeasurably shorter. And so, they searched. And they searched. Item 143 is Voyage to Hudson's Bay, by the "Dobbs Gallery" and "California", In the Years 1746 and 1747, For Discovering a North West Passage, by Henry Ellis, published in 1748. The first part of the book recounts 23 other English voyages in pursuit of the elusive passage. It then describes the mission on which Ellis served as hydrographer and surveyor. Like those before, and many after, the mission did not succeed in finding a route. However, it did provide one useful piece to the puzzle. This journey established that there was no route through Hudson's Bay. This meant that a hoped for easier route did not exist, and future missions would need to start farther north in their pursuit. It would not be for another century and half that the passage would finally be located, but even then, it was too shallow, and free of ice for too short a period of time, to be of much practical use. $2,250.

 

Next up we have Travels in the Interior of America, in the Years 1809, 1810, and 1811, published in 1817. John Bradbury was a Scottish naturalist sent to study botanical life by the Botanical Society of Liverpool. Starting from St. Louis, he visited territories along the upper Mississippi River, as well as the states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee. He then proceeded farther west to the Mandan villages. In 1811, he headed down the Mississippi toward New Orleans, leaving New Madrid, Missouri, the day before the tremendous earthquake. He provides an account of that terrible event, along with much else besides botanical data about the United States in his book. Item 53. $8,500.

 

Here is another European traveler who picked a momentous time to visit America. March-Gabriel Hurt-Binet came to America in October of 1860, just before the election which placed Lincoln in the presidency. All Hell broke loose after that, as the southern states seceded over the next few months, and by spring, the nation was at war with itself. His nine months allowed him to witness this troubled time. Hurt-Binet's book is entitled Neuf Mois aux Etats-Unis d'Amerique. He describes the places he visited, which were in Union territory, and comments on Shakers and Quakers, Emerson and Agassiz. Item 222. $275.

 

This one is definitely not an American journey. Item 71 is Terra Australis Cognita: Or, Voyages to the Terra Australis, published 1766-1768. James Callender provides a collection of early voyages to Australia, from before the land was settled, or even visited by Cook. Callender saw Australia as a fertile place for settlement, predicted that Britain would be the country to colonize the land because of her naval power, and proposed locating a penal colony there. He was either influential or prescient. $16,500.

 

The George S. MacManus Co. may be reached at 610-520-7273 or books@macmanus-rarebooks.com. Their website is www.macmanus-rarebooks.com

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> SMITH, CHRISTOPHER WEBB. 1793-1871. <i>Indian Ornithology.</i> [Patna, India]: 1828. $50,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DUPRÉ, LOUIS. 1789-1837. <i>Voyage à Athènes et à Constantinople, ou Collection de portraits, vues et costumes grecs et ottomans.</i> Paris: Dondey-Dupré, 1825. $60,000 to $90,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> ADAMS, JOHN. Autograph Letter Signed ("J Adams"), [to Dr. Perkins?] while recovering from his small pox inoculation, [late-April, 1764]. $30,000 to $50,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUSTEN, JANE. Autograph Letter Signed ("J. Austen"), to her sister Cassandra, 4 pp, "Thursday – after dinner," [September 16, 1813,] Henrietta St. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES. 1785-1851. <i>The Birds of America, from Drawings Made in the United States and Their Territories.</i> New York & Philadelphia: J.J. Audubon & J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> DODWELL, EDWARD. 1767-1832. <i>Views in Greece.</i> London: Rodwell and Martin, 1821. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Bonhams, Oct. 23:</b> JAMES, JESSE. Autograph Letter Signed ("Jesse W. James"), to Mr. Flood demanding Flood retract spurious accusations, 3 pp, June 5, 1875. $200,000 to $300,000.
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Textile of the Great White Fleet, with portraits of Theodore Roosevelt, Rear Admiral Robley D. Evans & successor Charles Stillman Sperry, 1908. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> William J. Stone, <i>Declaration of Independence,</i> Force printing, 1833. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Shugart family papers including documentation of the Underground Railroad, 63 items, 1838-81. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Records of the Dickinson & Shrewsbury salt works, over 2000 items, with extensive slave labor correspondence, legal records & receipts, bulk 1820-1865. $80,000 to $120,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Gloria Steinem, typescript for her speech <i>Living the Revolution,</i> with related letters and documents, 1941-77. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> <i>Liberty Triumphant or the Downfall of Oppression,</i> depicting the aftermath of the Boston Tea Party, c. 1774. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, <i>Historia naturae, maxime peregrinae, libris XVI distincta,</i> Antwerp, 1635. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Antonio de Mayorga, manuscript map of Mexico City, 1779. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Thomas L. McKenney & James Hall, <i>History of the Indian Tribes of North America,</i> first edition, 3 volumes, Philadelphia, 1842-44. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Samuel Walker, diary of the entire first cruise of the USS Kineo, a gunboat on the Mississippi, 1854-69. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 26:</b> Scrapbook on early Stanford football, with letters from Walter Camp, 1893-95 & 1931. $8,000 to $12,000.
  • <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Roberts, David. Twenty Lithographs of the Holy Land, 19th Century. $2,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Declaration by the Reps. of the United Colonies of N.A. 1775. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Composer Jerome Kern personal Letters, Albums and Other. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Paine, Thomas. <i>Common Sense,</i> London 1776. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Stowe, Harriet Beecher. <i>Uncle Tom’s Cabin,</i> Cleveland 1852. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Hobbes, Thomas. <i>Leviathan,</i> 3rd edition, London 1651. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Anno Regni Georgii III. Intolerable Acts and other Bills, 1774. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Wilberforce, William. An Abstract of the Evidence, 5 Letters, and two books. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Nightingale, Florence. Notes on Nursing and Signed Letters, ca. 1860 $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Tolstov, Leo. <i>War and Peace,</i> 5 volumes, 1886. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Dickinson, John. Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, 1768. $1,500 to $2,500.
    <b>Lark Mason Associates, Aug 8-27:</b> Twain, Mark. <i>Tom Sawyer,</i> 1877 [and] <i>Huckleberry Finn,</i> 1885. $4,000 to $6,000.

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